I am delighted to invite you to participate in USM’s Common Read, How To Be An Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi, Professor and Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C..
How To Be An Antiracist is both a scholarly text written by a professor and the story of one man’s experience of racism in this country. For some of you, the Common Read may present ideas that are unexpected, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable. Others of you might recognize your own narrative in Kendi’s. Reading How To Be An Antiracist might make you feel vulnerable and unsure of what to do next. If that happens, find people you trust and respect, and start a conversation. Talk to your faculty members or your fellow students about it. Take advantage of the many opportunities listed here: join a Common Read discussion group; take a Common Read pop-up course; come to a meeting of the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC); or just stop by my office. It’s time for USM to commit to an antiracist future. Only when we make such a commitment will we find liberation and equity for all. Ask yourself, “What would it look like for USM to be an antiracist institution?” “What would it look like for me to be antiracist?”
A free copy of the book is available to all students, staff, faculty, and friends of USM at USM’s three libraries (Portland, Gorham, Lewiston) as well as in my office in 124 Wishcamper. Online students outside driving distance of USM can receive a copy by mail.
Jeannine Diddle Uzzi
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
(Portions of this page were taken from Provost Uzzi's welcome letter in the Free Press, 1/27/20, page 4)